Sunday, September 28, 2008

Time to Leave Town

Michigan's nice in the Fall, right?  It's not that cold is it?  And certainly, Rafter can adjust.  Plus, Mr. B will enjoy having us around and not having to fly every weekend.  I'll miss my friends, but it has to be done.  I absolutely have to leave Alabama, now.  It will be unbearable to listen to these people.  Especially after so many years of nothing to brag about (not that that's ever shut them up).  At least when Michigan fans start talking smack (and they will, after yesterday) I can shut them up with....."and the last time you beat us was....????"

But, as a Buckeye in the South, this is the end.

I'll miss everyone.

Tina Fey

If you haven't watched this yet.....you MUST.

It had me in tears!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Gameday


Before we get to football, how about a little update on the dreaded wine cellar?  First of all, it used to be my favorite room in the house (only because it houses one of my favorite things!), but for the past week, it's been a pain in the a$$....or actually, the lower back would be more accurate.

Here's what my basement looked like earlier today.




Definitely a case of things getting worse before they get better, huh!!

I've personally counted and moved and lifted 2,453 bottles of wine....and only drank three.  Not an admirable ratio.  I currently have everything inventoried and on-line at www.cellartracker.com (which is a fabulous wesbsite for keeping track of your wine collection....all you do is input the name of the wine, and it gives you all kinds of great information, such as personal and professional reviews, drinking timetable, average retail price, etc).  I almost have everything put back in some sort of logical order, so that Mr. B can go down there and actually find what he's looking for! 

I'll post some more pics when everying is back to normal!

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Now for the important stuff.....FOOTBALL.  

The Buckeyes won their Big Ten opener today against Minnesota and I thought they looked pretty good.  The "O" line played better, but with Beanie and Pryor both in the backfield, they should look better.  Next week will be a tough one at Wisconsin at night.

I am doing my happy dance around the room right now....Clemson lost (which just further proves my theory that Alabama has not played anyone yet.....but they will tonight) and Ole Miss just toasted Urban Crier's Florida Gators.....take that "Gator Chomp" and choke on it!  Can you tell I dislike Florida?  Now, if only Miss. St. could do the same thing tonight to LSU.....ok....not likely!!  Sorry, Luke.

Should be some good afternoon games....Wisconsin-Michigan and Auburn-Tennessee (I see a potential for an upset there.....Fat Phillip Fulmer needs a win...BAD).

We're going to celebrate Donna's birthday week at Bottega tonight so I'll probably only get to see the second half of the Alabama-Georgia showdown, but that's ok.....I'm more interested in the Illinois-Penn State game...go Juice Williams!!


Friday, September 26, 2008

Uh Oh

Oh dear.  I'm late.  A day.  For Barefoot Bloggers!  (What were you thinking....)  I was SO busy yesterday...big tennis match (we kicked a$$), wine cellar duties (it's getting worse before it gets better) and Donna-bud's birthday celebration at The Grill (WAY too much fun).

I made the Cream of Mushroom Soup on Wednesday night for my BB taste tester and she raved about it....as did I.  I have to confess that this is one of Ina's recipes that I have made before, so I knew it was going to be great.  I love how chunky it is (I practically doubled the quantity of mushrooms).  Plus I think making your own mushroom stock makes all the difference.  Ina's a genius!!

Here's the recipe:
Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup
5 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms
5 ounces fresh portobello mushrooms
5 ounces fresh cremini (or porcini) mushrooms
1 tbsp good olive oil
1/4 pound (1 stick plus 1 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 carrot, chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme plus 1 tsp minced thyme leaves, divided
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Clean the mushrooms by wiping them with a dry paper towel.  Don't wash them!  Separate the stems, trim off any bad parts, and coarsely chop the stems.  Slice the mushroom caps 1/4-inch thick and, if they are big, cut them into bit-sized pieces.  Set aside.

To make the stock, heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large pot.  Add the chopped mushroom stems, the onion, carrot, the sprig of thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.  Add 6 cups of water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.  Strain, reserving the liquid.  You should have about 4 1/2 cups of stock.  If not, add some water.

Meanwhile, in another large pot, heat the remaining 1/4 pound of butter and add the leeks.  Cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until the leeks begin to brown.  Add the sliced mushroom caps and cook for 10 minutes, or until they are browned and tender.  Add the flour and cook for 1 minute.  Add the white wine and stir for another minute, scraping the bottom of the pot.  Add the mushroom stock, minced thyme leaves, 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the half-and-half, cream, and parsley, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and heat through but do not boil.  Serve hot.

Fabulous....a great selection from Chelle of Brown Eyed Baker

Thanks, Chelle....great site, by the way!!





Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Oh Glorious Day

I love music....all kinds of music (well not classical or country so much, but anyway).  Therefore, my ipod is my most treasured electronic device...actually I have three....one in my car, one in the house and my shuffle that I use when I work out...I'm a freak.    

Let me back up a moment.  I went out today and upgraded my iphone to the new 3G (mainly because I was tired of looking at a cracked screen, but that's another story).  So in order to sync my new phone, I had to download the lastest version of iTunes (I don't do this as often as I should.....usually the upgrades are things I don't notice.)  And lo and behold, Apple has made some kick-ass upgrades.  The new "Genius" feature is, well.....genius!

You can now click on any song in your iTunes library and Genius will give you a list of songs and artists that are similar....which is cool, but there is another web feature called Pandora (www.pandora.com) that does the same thing and which I have been using for a couple of months.  The great thing about iTunes' version, is it gives you a one-click download option.  Nice.  But, that's not the best part......click on any song in your library.....then click on the "Genius" button and you get a playlist of anywhere from 25 to 100 songs right from your own library.   Way cool.  I clicked on Aerosmith's "Dream On" and got a 100 song playlist of my favorite 80's and 90's Rock.  I clicked on My Morning Jacket's "I'm Amazed" and got songs from Kings of Leon, Mike Doughty, Ray LaMontagne, REM, Vampire Weekend, Griffin House......you get the picture.

This is gonna cut my playlist-building time in HALF!!!

Ok everyone....download the latest iTunes.....if you haven't already!


Midweek Misc.

Mwahahaha.......Beanie's BACK!!


And so is my Buckeye love!!  Now we run the table.

I'm positively giddy about Pryor and Beanie in the Buckeye's backfield!!!

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I've never been a fan of Dancing With The Stars.....the show makes me uncomfortable.....some people just shouldn't dance in public.  I know.  I'm one of them.   I tried to watch again last year when Monica Seles was on, but it just confirmed my feelings....she was B. A. D.

So, I tried again the last couple of nights to watch and I found myself glued in some instances and grabbing the remote in others.  Cloris Leachman had me glued....like a train wreck.  Woman is like 85 years old and doesn't exactly look like that Edyta chick in the costume, but I'll give her props for being out there.  She certainly was entertaining with the judges.

The only one I got to see last night was Kim Kardashian.  And girl, c'mon....all you do for the paparazzi is strut your booty around....I at least thought you'd be able to shake it a LITTLE.  For heaven's sake.

So, I'm not sure I'll be tuning in for the whole season.....maybe if Cloris makes it to the finals.

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Hey, did you hear that Clay "Gay"ken is coming out of the closet this week in People Magazine.....REALLY?

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Carly and I went to see "The Women" yesterday afternoon.  I'll give the movie a C+ but what was most disappointing is how much "work" Meg Ryan has had done.  She looks almost as creepy as Priscilla Pressley.  I used to love Meg.

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I'm enjoying all of the Fall premiers on TV this week.  My favorite new show so far is "Worst Week".  I was laughing out loud......all by myself.

Can't wait for Grey's tomorrow night.

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Favorite iTunes download this week was "Nothing Ever Hurt Like You" by James Morrison.  I keep playing it over and over and over and....

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Tonight is Barefoot Bloggers recipe night.  Cream of Mushroom soup and Donna's gonna be my taster.  I'll let you know how it went tomorrow.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Yesterday's football action was pretty mundane, if you ask me (since you're reading this, you must have!!).  No major upsets, unless you're counting NC State over Eastern Carolina.  My only pick that was way off was the Alabama/Arkansas game.....and I'm still not convinced about Bama.  Arkansas was just worse than I thought they were.  We'll find out about the Tide next weekend in Athens.

I wasn't overly impressed with the Buckeyes win, but was overly impressed with Mr. Pryor.  Yes, he can throw the ball, too!  Big Ten season starts next weekend and we still have some problems to fix....namely on defense.  Still missing too many tackles.

As I mentioned, I made Ina's fabulous Cheddar Corn Chowder....and it was.  Here's the recipe:

8 ounces bacon, chopped (I use Applewood smoked)
1/4 cup good olive oil
6 cups chopped yellow onions (4 large onions)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
12 cups chicken stock
6 cups medium-diced white boiling potatoes, unpeeled (2 pounds)
10 cups corn kernels, fresh (10 ears) or frozen (3 pounds)
2 cups half and half
1/2 pound sharp white Cheddar cheese, grated

In a large stockpot on medium-high heat, cook the bacon and olive oil until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes  Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve.  Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and butter to the fat, and cook for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent.

Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes.  Add the chicken stock and potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.  If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cobs and blanch the kernels for 3 minutes in boiling salted water (I omit this step.  It's not necessary)  If using frozen corn, you can skip this step.  Add the corn to the soup, then add the half and half and cheddar.  Cook for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is melted.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve hot with a garnish of bacon and more cheese.

I also tried out a new recipe for Black Bean Dip that was a hit (plus it's low-fat and healthy!!)

2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

Place beans in a food processor and pulse until almost smooth.  Combine the beans and the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring until well blended.  Let stand 30 minutes.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Luke brought along his famous jalapeno and cheese (yes, Southern Boy, made it with orange cheese) cornbread which was the perfect companion to the soup!  If you check out this blog, Elmer may have talked his dad into posting the recipe.

This week is Barefoot Blogger's week and the recipe is Mushroom Soup so I'll be posting that on Thursday.

I'm off to the wine cellar to spend the day.







Saturday, September 20, 2008

Gameday

329899.jpg
It's Gameday, people and Kirk Herbstreit is just an hour away from my house right now.  I can't believe I'm not at Auburn.  Just watching him on Saturday morning makes it worth living the rest of the week!!

Seriously though, it's a big day today with some great games to watch.  I'm getting ready to make some of Ina's fabulous Corn Chowder and park my patootie in front of the tube.

Today's picks:

Alabama at Arkansas
Troy at Ohio State
Florida at Tennessee
Georgia at Arizona State
LSU at Auburn
Notre Dame at Michigan State

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Random

I think I've mentioned before that I like wine....and I like to collect wine (most of all I like to drink wine!!).   A couple of years ago we converted a small room in the basement into a wine cellar.  At the time we had maybe about 500 bottles and the room held 2000 bottles, so we never thought in a million years that we would outgrow it.   Ummm...it took about three!!  I'll throw myself under the bus right now and say that 95% of this bottle accumulation was my fault.....5% of the blame goes to Mr. B (remember the bordeaux, EB??).

So...this is what the cellar looks like now.  Embarrassing, huh??  And it's even spilling over into my Pilates room.  Time to get control of this.

This is going to take some time....and some work, I might add.  I'll keep you posted.

Why do I procrastinate like this??????




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I Tivo Oprah so that I can pick and choose the episodes that I watch.  I delete the ones about the child molesters, any new-age spiritual advice, and Barak Obama.  I tend to watch the ones dealing with her book club (that aren't the subject of the above mentioned items), some of the celebrities, and Dr. Oz.

I watched two episodes today...the one with Dr. Oz that included the 140 lb tumor that was removed from that women's stomach (mine's only 10 lbs as of right now) and the one with Tatum O'Neal.  I'm sure that you read she got arrested again this summer for trying to buy drugs on the streets of NYC.    She looked so haunted during that interview...there were times when the "actress" would kick in and she'd give this big fake smile....but most of the interview, I just thought she looked so sad.  I won't be surprised if she's one of the Hollywood stories of dying waaaaayyy too young.

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What's intriguing about college football this weekend????  I would have to say that the most interesting match-up will be Auburn/LSU in Jordan Hare.  LSU is not really battle tested....cupcake opponents and hurricane Gustav issues leave questions as to whether they're ready for the Tigers.  But the Tigers have issues of their own...beating Miss. St. 3-2?????  Not exactly a "statement" game.....plus is Brad Lester going to be ready to go?  Before the Miss St fiasco, I would have taken Auburn, just because they're so tough to beat at home, but this one is too close for me to call at this point.

The Alabama/Arkansas match-up should be a good one.  Alabama needs to be a little more impressive against a worthy opponent for me start picking them.

OSU SHOULD pull out a win against Troy, but as I said before....this is gut check time.  I'm more intersted in all of Tressel's comments about Pryor this week than anything else.  I was sure that he would stick with the Sr. Boeckman, so I'm waiting for him to put his money where his mouth is at this point.  My jury is still out on the Buckeye's

Notre Dame travels to Michigan State....we'll see which is the "real" ND...the one that showed up in the first half against SDSU or the one that showed up against UM.

Since USC only plays EVERY OTHER WEEK...they again get a BYE.  How's that work??

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Elmer


Just so no one calls PETA on me....Elmer Kat Gordon....aka EKG.....has recovered from his suicide attempt last night and is doing fine at the Minshew/Gordon household.....as evidenced in the following photos!!

I checked on him today while his humans are out of town and he hasn't gotten into any more mischief....like opening cabinet doors with his bare paws.  He has, however, been taking great advantage of the automatic feeder.  I think he binged the first day and that belly is just too big to lay on anymore!!






Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Live from the Birmingham Federal "Kat"Bureau


It was reported that a cabinet containing highly secured electrical equipment was breached by a well known feline known as....EKG.

Suspect....IN CUSTODY.....

Unfortunately the suspect was found in "limp" condition due to the fact the electrical equipment was used for suicidal purposes...but is currently under investigation.



JUST KIDDING...this cat is currently in the palace watching Scrubs on TV LAND....Channel 304.


We'll further investigate this situation tomorrow.

Uuuuggghhh

A few years ago, I lost about 40 pounds.   I had to work REALLY hard to do it too,(running 3-5 miles, six days a week) so I swore I'd never allow myself to gain it back.  Well, sometimes when you're not paying attention, things sneak up on you.  Don't be alarmed.....I haven't gained it ALL back....just 10 pounds, but damn things won't go away.  I'll admit that I have been a slacker recently when it comes to the running (I'm down to 2-3 miles, about twice a week.....in a good week).  I walk every day.....but don't run.  SO...I started running again today....and the only reason that you need to know about this is that I figure if I put it in writing....ON THE INTERNET.....that my guilty conscience will take over the rest of my body and get me into the gym everyday.  Therefore, feel free to electronically poke me periodically just to keep me honest....please....very few things in my closet are comfortable!!

Burst Bubble


                                    

I kind of feel like the wind is out of my sails.  The Buckeye's loss (or should I say beatdown) on Saturday was a real blow to my "football fanatacism".  What is there to look forward to??  Certainly not this weekend, when we are likely to get beat by more Trojans (in the form of Troy....who is no cupcake) if we don't get our shizzle together....fast.  And let's face it....the Big 10 is not going to be as easy this year....Wisconsin and Penn State are looking pretty good at this point.

I don't know, Buckeyes....it's certainly "gut-check" time.

Update:  According to this article, Mr. Pryor will be seeing increased playing time.  That's good news.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

At least the humiliation is over early

The good news is that we don't have to wait until January this year for our annual dose of "let's humiliate our fans".  Got it out of the way in September (although I see it happening more than once this season).

I went to bed in the third quarter when it was 35-3.  Thank you, Pete, for putting in your third stringers and not making it any worse.  You easily could have.

The only other comment I have is that Tress needs to move on to the future and bench Boeckman and insert Pryor.  He was the only bright spot the whole night.  

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I was happy for EB that I was wrong about Notre Dame.  Although I tend to think they'll still struggle this year, they did what needed to be done to beat Michigan (which we probably won't do)

Best hit of the game by an Irish was delivered to Charlie Weis!  That was brutal and he never saw it coming.

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Auburn 3, Miss. St. 2.........hmmmmmm

and that's all I'm gonna say!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

It's Official

Chris WellsWell, it looks like this is how Beanie will be dressed this evening.  Tress announced yesterday (and I, unlike the conspiracy theorists out there, believe him) that Beanie will not be playing.  I'm beginning to think this little "toe" injury is a lot more serious than anyone is letting on and Tress is protecting his future interests.

After spending the morning watching all of the pre-game hyperbole, I guess I'm the only one in the country holding out hope that the Bucks can make a game of this.  I just can't bring myself to believe that we suck as back as everyone thinks.   Surely not, right??

I'm currently watching the South Carolina/Georgia matchup and personally hope that SC will give the Bulldogs a little scare....but probably not.

Notre Dame HAS to beat Michigan or I think trouble will be brewing in South Bend.  I'm not telling Mr. B this, but I don't think the Irish get it done today.

My upset pick today is Fresno State over Wisconsin.

Enjoy your Saturday and GO BUCKS!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Identify Yourself

Ok readers....identify yourself.

Checkout the column to your right....where it says "who's readin this nonsense??"

Identify yourself....damnit!!

Cheers.

Barefoot Blogger

I have been so wrapped up in the whole New York thing that I have been shirking a lot of other responsibilities....namely cooking....just ask Carly....I don't know when the last time was she got a "home cooked" meal.  So I'm doing my daily internet browsing and I wonder over to Barefoot Bloggers and realize that I have an assignment due TODAY.   Uh oh.   It's 3:00pm and I've been at a tennis match most of the day and then a leisurely lunch with friends....blah, blah, blah....shit, I need to make "Grown-up Mac and Cheese"

So I call my local guinea pigs (Donna and Luke) and see if they're game (they are) and head out to Fresh Market to get ingredients (then to the ABC store for Vodka, cuz Donna will kill me if I don't have Vodka...again.)

Luckily, this is one of Ina's recipe's that I have made in the past, so I'm quasi familiar.  Again, luckily, Mr. B's not home because he didn't particularly like it the first time around!!  The one thing I don't remember from the cookbook recipe vs. the online recipe is the bread crumb part....and that would be the part that I would eliminate the next time around.  While it made the dish aesthetically pleasing, it totally dried out the top part.  I would not add the bread crumbs the next time.

The only other criticism came from the Southern boy that preferred "orange" cheese macaroni....some people you just can get out of the box.  He declared the taste an "8", but wanted it to be orange.....whatev.  The girlfriend of the Southern boy, however, liked the "new" cheese macaroni...combination of gruyere, sharp white cheddar, and gorganzola.....not your typical "Southern" mac and cheese.

I will say that the bacon made a nice addition and everyone loved that....I used applewood smoked bacon!!!

Here's the recipe..



"Grown Up Mac and Cheese"

4 oz thick-sliced bacon
Vegetable oil
Kosher salt
2 cups elbow macaroni or cavatappi
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
4 oz Gruyere cheese, grated
3 oz extra-sharp cheddar, grated
2 oz blue cheese, such as Roquefort, crumbled
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Pinch nutmeg
2 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
2 tbsp freshly chopped basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F

Place a baking rack on a sheet pan and arrange the bacon in one layer on the baking rack.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the bacon is crisp.  Remove the pan carefully from the oven - there will be hot grease in the pan!  Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and crumble when it is cool enough to handle.

Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water.  Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes.  Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don't boil it.  Melt the butter in a medium pot and add the flour.  Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk.  While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or 2 more, until thickened and smooth  Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, blue cheese, one teaspoon salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Add the cooked macaroni and crumbled bacon and stir well.  Pour into two individual size gratin dishes.

Place the bread slices in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until you have coarse crumbs.  Add the basil and pulse to combine.  Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the top of the pasta.  Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.



We're toast!

Well, I think I'm going to make dinner plans someplace Saturday night that doesn't have a TV.  The Sweater Vest just announced that Beanie is "doubtful".  Ummm.....shit!

If last Saturday is any indication of what we play like without him, we're screwed.  It was looking so good earlier this week, too.  He practiced yesterday, but must not have recovered as well as he thought he was going to.  Gonna be a long weekend.


Coach Carroll
The only thing I can hope for is Pete Carroll possibly taking his shirt off sometime during the game, so it'll be worth tuning in for.  Who knew?

Not bad for an old guy!






Wonder if that's what Tress is hiding under that sweater??


Coach Tressel









Doubtful!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Update on Rockne

I want to let everyone know that Rockne found his forever home today.  My friend, Sandy, picked him up this afternoon and took him to her farm where he'll have lots of brothers and sisters and even some horses to play with!  I know that he'll be well taken care of and much loved.

Thanks, Sandy and to everyone that was willing to help!

Meet Rockne

I finally got back to Alabama yesterday after a fabulous eight days in New York.  I couldn't wait to pick up Rafter and get home and relax.  Didn't happen.  When I got to Riverview, this little fellow had just been dropped off.


The previous owners (idiots) didn't like the "puppy stage" and brought him in to be euthanized.  Nice, right?  

Since I very well couldn't leave him there, I did the only thing possible and brought him home.  Hopefully I can find a really nice home for him.  Ideally somewhere he could have some room to run.  He already points, which is the cutest thing ever, and he's potty trained and cage trained.....he went into the cage at 10:00pm last night and didn't make a peep until 6:00 this morning.  Complete opposite of Rafter....he despised that cage!!

So if anyone out there knows of a great home for Rockne (Ed, my Notre Dame fan, named him), please let me know.  The previous (idiot) owners said that he was a pure bred Brittany Spaniel, but I don't have any papers to verify that.  He's up-to-date on shots and is scheduled to be neutered on Tuesday.  He's super sweet.





Sunday, September 7, 2008

Quintessential Tourists

I did something today that I've never done in all of my numerous visits to NYC....took a carriage ride in Central Park and as much as I hate to admit it......had a good time.  First of all, it was just an amazingly beautiful day....75 degrees with no humidity.....and Zach and Ashley had never been there, so it just seemed like a fun thing to do.


This guy is doing what I should have been doing.....considering all that I've had to eat and drink this week......


but instead, I sat on my ass and let a horse pull me around!!


Z and A enjoying the ride

Mr B and me....

the typical site in CP


This awesome fellow provided the "horse"power!!

Our tour guide was a very cool Irish fellow...

We then decided to walk twenty blocks to go to the top of the Empire State Building and on our way we passed through Bryant Park which just happened to be hosting New York Fashion Week.  I didn't see too many "fashionable" people, but whatever.  I'll bet Bryant Park is really pretty without that big, ugly white tent parked in the middle of it.



The last time I was at the top of the Empire State Building was about four years ago in February.   BRRRR.  It wasn't near as cold this time, but a LOT more crowded.  I lasted about 5 minutes and got some pics, but then I was out of there.  This was just further confirmation of why I don't usually frequent tourist destinations.  That being said....the view up there is stunning!



So, we're all out of here tomorrow.  I've had a great time and it was so much fun to spend time with the fam, but I'm ready to get back to 'Bama and see Raffie!!

NYC Family Time

It's been a fabulous week in NYC.....great weather (except yesterday), great food (I'll be spending next week on the treadmill) great wine (always!) and great fun with the family......


Brother and sister.....acting like brother and sister!


Dinner at Milo's Saturday night....another new restaurant that we'll go back to....


my handsome nephew and his beautiful bride.....


So, I think everyone has had a great time.  The weather yesterday put a crimp in Zach and Ashley's US Open plans.  They got to see the Federer-Djokovic match, but the rain pushed the men's final, which they had tickets to, back to Monday at 5:00pm, so unfortunately they're not going to get to see it.  The good news is that Zach has loved the city and wants to come back!!  Yeah.

We have a free day today and the weather is beautiful, so we're going to do some sightseeing with the kids and enjoy our last day!

I'm extremely nervous.....

....about next Saturday night in SoCal.  Tress better be kicking some serious booty in practice this week and Beanie better be ready to go.  I'm sure the Trojans were instructed to watch that game yesterday since they had the weekend off, but I'll bet Pete Carroll let them go to the beach at halftime.

Gonna me a long week.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Upset in the making

Hmmmm....me thinks that maybe the Buckeyes were looking too far forward this week to that Southern California sun.  I'm embarrassed at how flat and unprepared they look....even into the first part of the second half.  I was hoping that Tressell would be able to fire them up in the locker room......but NOOOO.  We're halfway through the third quarter and not making a lot of progress.  Are we really this weak without Beanie????

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Where do I start??

So many things to talk about....where do I begin???  I'll start with NYC and what I've been up to since Monday.  As I mentioned, Mr. B was not much into any more tennis, plus he had some work to do to finance my shopping, so I dropped him off at some office building on Madison Ave. and off I went to Bergdorf's...which is where I had my first celebrity siting of the week.  I'll preface this story by saying that most celebrities could come up and slap me in the face and I probably wouldn't recognize them, but most of the time their voice will ring some bells in my brain, which is exactly what happened in Bergie's.  I was sitting there minding my own business....trying on some sweet Christian Louboutin's.....when this skinny blond starts talking.   You know how your spine feels when someone scrapes their finger nails down a blackboard???  That's exactly what happened to me.....so I glanced up, and there sat one of those Arquette chicks.  At first I thought it was Patricia (cause that's the only name that came to mind), but when I got home and was telling Mr. B about it, he said he bet it was Rosanna.....the one that takes her clothes off all the time.  So I googled her.   He was right....it was the slutty one!!!
Rosanna Arquette picture

Anyhoo....she tried on lots of shoes, but didn't buy anything.  I, on the other hand, spent some of Mr. B's hard earned jack!!  You should see these shoes!!

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OK....let's talk food.  Eating is, absolutely, one of my favorite things to do when I'm in NYC (or anywhere else, for that matter) and I always try to mix our dinner reservations between favorites and new adventures.  Monday night was a favorite....Felidia's which didn't disappoint.   It's just a consistently great Italian restaurant that we try to go to everytime we're here....which says a lot considering all of the great Italian restaurants in the city.  Everyone we've ever taken there has enjoyed it, I think, as much as we do.

Tuesday......after a hard day of shoe shopping, attorney meetings for Mr B, and miles and miles of walking for Jill and Melvin, we headed out for a casual dinner at Bobby Flay's Bar Americain.  This one is a favorite of the hubby's.  Personally, I think he goes solely for the homemade potato chips with the warm blue cheese dip.  Can't say I disagree!  It's sinful, but I'm not quite as big a fan of the restaurant as a whole as he is, but it's a safe bet.  I had the cioppino and it was fabulous....nice and spicy.  Mr. B had the peanut butter rocky road sundae, which tasted as good as it sounds, except when you got a bite of dried apricot.    HUH????  Just didn't belong there.  Whatev.    You should go there the next time you're in NYC....they're at 52nd between 6th and 7th Ave.




Wednesday was another work day for the boss, so the Upchurch's and I headed to the theatre to see "Gypsy".  Where to start.  First of all, the three of us were the youngest in the theatre by at least 20 years.  I have never see more blue-hairs in one place in my life.  Must have been the subject matter.  Second....while Patti LuPone was fabulous, and totally deserving of the Tony, the show itself was s. l. o. w....which could be another explanation for the advanced age of the crowd....I don't know.   Not a show that I would recommend but I'm glad I got to see Ms. Lupone in action.

Okay....which leads me to dinner last night.  This one was a new adventure.....DavidBurke and Donatella on the Upper East Side....61st between Park and Lexington.....and it was beyond great.  All four of us said this one was our favorite. My only criticism would be that we were packed in a little tight for my comfort level, but that's just me.  Everyone ordered something different and it was all delicious....from appetizers consisting of pretzel crusted crabcakes, "Angry" lobster, and beef carpaccio, to entree's of mustard crusted tuna, sauteed skate, "corn on the cod" and braised short ribs.  This one gets five stars and a hearty recommendation.  We'll absolutely be back!

This morning we said goodbye to Jill and Melvin.  I hope they had as much fun as we did!  Hubby and I then headed up Madison Ave to that shopping mecca known as the upper east side.  Fun, fun!  I bribed Mr. B with lunch at Il Tinello if he'd walk the 50 blocks with me.  It worked.....plus he scored some sweet shoes of his own, so everyone was happy.....and lunch was yummy....melt in your mouth proscuitto, homemade ravioli and tiramisu and tartuffo.  Can't beat that.

Right now we're hanging at home watching R-Fed....who's up two sets on Mr. Muller.  I'm hoping that little five set battle he had the other day was just what the doctor ordered and he's turned the corner.




Monday, September 1, 2008

US Open Action

We trekked out to Queens today.....can I just say that while I love NYC, I hate the subway.  Yes, I know it's efficient and the most convenient way to get around, but it's just dirty and I don't like to be that close to that many people.  I'm just sayin.

Now that I have that out of the way, the day was beautiful (a little hot) and the tennis was great.  We confined our viewing to Arthur Ashe Stadium which was fine.  The only other match I thought about seeing was my girl, Dinara, but whatev.

The first match of the day was Mardy Fish vs. Gael Monfils...Go USA.  Let's first start with the celebrities......


OK....that's just EB, but he's my celebrity


"Nasty" Nastase

Mary Carillo.....

Johnny Mac.....

Mr. Monfils......

A frustrated Mr. Monfils......


A triumphant Mardy Fish.....


M.J. in the post match interview..

This is who's up next for Fish......


Um....actually it's this guy......you should recognize him doing his favorite thing....

The "Sam"urais.....they were sitting right next to us and VERY supportive of Sam


Sam is a big guy.....
but Rafa is more powerful...

check out that arm....


We didn't stick around for the whole match.....we couldn't wait to get back on the subway!!

Had a great time, but one day was enough for Mr. Buker.  That's ok.....I'll introduce him to Park Avenue shopping tomorrow.  He may wish he'd picked tennis!!